Optics : GSO 8" RC + CCDT67 @ F5.4 @ 1077 mm
Camera : Atik - 414 EX Mono + EFW2 Filter Wheel
Filters : Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series - LRGB Filter Set - 1.25"
Astrodon 5nm H-Alpha Narrowband Filter - 1.25"
Mount : NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned/Belt Mod)
Guiding: Telescope Service OAG9 + SX Lodestar
Acquisition : Sequence Generator Pro (22.214.171.124)
Exposure : Lum (1x1) - 42 x 600
Ha (1x1) - 7 x 1200
R (2x2) - 10 x 300
G (2x2) - 12 x 300
B (2x2) - 12 x 300
Total Exp: - 12.1 Hours
Processing : PixInsight 1.8 (1123)
LBN 258 and GM 2-41 (Cygnus X, DR15)
Click on Image to switch to Annotated View.
What you see in this image, is a two bright reflection and emission nebulae (Blue Gm 2-41 left, Red LBN 258 right) close together in the vast dark cloud, which is located in a massive star brewing area called Cygnus X in Cygnus constellation. You can see a breathtaking image of all this area taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope HERE. The radio complex of this area named DR15 - a very busy place.
This object is definitely not for such a small field of view, but this is very interesting area with faint dust clouds - perfect candidate to test my first and new to me CCD camera - Atik 414EX M. The switch from DSLR to CCD couldn't go unnoted. This small camera is very sensitive, very small Read Noise of 3.7e and very low dark current. The cooling does provide 30° below the ambient as advertised while drawning only 1A of power. So it also helps to keep my batteries alive.
Such a small sensor allows me to use CCDT67 reducer at it's native 0.67x reduction with GSO8" RC and gives me flat full estate from corner to corner. Now my 8" RC operates at f5.4 ratio, which is fast enough to fill the 6.45nm pixels and being at 1077mm of focal lenght gives me Imaging Scale of 1.23 a/pixel, which is perfect for my seeing conditions of a desert skies and good sampling for the galaxies I want to shoot in the future.
It feels like I'm starting from scratch and experience whole new exciting learning curve to image with CCD. Thanks to the camera's very low read noise, I found that I can shoot sky limited with unbinned RGB from my dark, desert site. Only this time I shot binned 2x2 RGB as I want to experiment and see what would work best for me for those two nights in a month that I'm able to shoot.
All in all, I'm very happy with my new camera, very well made, high quality, low weight, low power consumption and very good cooling, kudos to Atik. I wish I could switch to CCD earlier, but I'm happy I'm there now and hope to fill my website with even more exciting images.
For Full Resolution View (1326 x 971) click HERE.